The Cause of Internet and TV Addiction?
Definition of Arousal
"arousal (arous·al) ([schwa]-rou˘z[schwa]l) 1. a state of responsiveness to sensory stimulation or excitability."
"We all have peaks and valleys in our arousal levels throughout the day. However most of us manage to maintain an appropriate level of arousal by the some of the strategies listed above to interact effectively with the environment. People who have difficulty maintaining an appropriate level of arousal spend more time in a high or low level of arousal and may constantly seek or avoid input to try and regulate arousal."
"People with a high arousal level often respond to sensory stimuli with a strong response, frequently a fight/flight/fright response. They may flee from sensory input and seek a smaller, quieter space to get away from too much input or they might scream in fright when confronted with too much sensory input."
"They also may have a hard time remaining focused or calm in busier environments..."
"A diet containing refined carbohydrates [e.g. refined sugars such as cane, beet, and corn sugar, white (bleached, enriched) wheat flour; and white (polished) rice] has been found to cause increased hyperactivity. Food additives commonly cause increased hyperactivity and adverse responses; the hyperactive child does not have the natural bodily defenses necessary to handle the synthetic load."
"Stephen C. Putnam, MEd, took up canoeing in a serious way to combat the symptoms of adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Then he wrote a book, titled Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind, about the benefits of exercise on troublesome brain disorders such as ADHD, a neurological/behavioral condition resulting in hyperactivity and the inability to focus on tasks.
Putnam cites studies of children who ran around for 15 to 45 minutes before class and cut their ants-in-the-pants behavior by half when they got to class. As with most exercise, the effects were relatively lasting -- smoothing out behavior two to four hours after the exercise."
"Animals, such as rabbits, do not have adrenaline producing cells controlling their locus coeruleus. This seems related to their constitutional hyperactivity. Chronic low adrenaline levels in hyperactive children may lead to a similar state causing 'inability to maintain focused attention, difficulty in falling asleep, or light levels of sleep, inattention to consumptive behaviors... inappropriate response to reward ... Cognitive deficits may occur secondarily.'"
"A person overwhelmed by chronic stress will over-stress the adrenal glands and they will eventually shut down, leading to low adrenaline levels."
In addition exercise and the suggestions contained in the 'Light Sensitivity' and 'Sound Sensitivity' sections, relaxation can also be helpful since both light sensitivity and hyperacusis, a type of sound sensitivity, can be exacerbated by fatigue. Some of my suggestions for relaxation are:
Culture and Perception
Different cultures of the world associate certain ideas with color. Because of this association, some colors may cause us to relax, and others may increase stress.
Note: Viewing the color red for a prolonged period of time can cause the body to increase adrenaline secretion. While the excerpt below states that this can have a good effect on people with hypotension by increasing their blood pressure, it can also exacerbate stress and fatigue, and is not recommended by this web site.
"The color red stimulates, excites, and warms the body. Red increases the heart rate, brain wave activity, and respiration. The color of passion and energy. Those who have poor coordination should avoid wearing the color red. In addition, people suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) and ADHD (hyperactivity) should avoid the color red, avoid going into red rooms and should not decorate their homes with red, as it will cause their blood pressure to rise. Conversely, red has a good effect [temporarily—not recommended] on those with hypotension (low blood pressure) and depression."
"Color psychology is based on the fact that physiological functions respond to specific colors.
What are TFAs?
"Trans fatty acids or trans fats are formed when manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats. Think shortening and hard margarine."
Allergies and Asthma
"In a recent European study rates of asthma and allergies were highest in populations with the highest consumption of trans fats in processed foods. (Lancet, 6/12/99)."
"To promote the metabolism of these EFA's, it may also be wise to avoid foods prepared in heated oils and margarine. Margarine is oil that becomes hydrogenated through a heating process and which is transformed into a trans fatty acid. This can also impede the metabolism of EFAs."
Heart Disease, Stroke
"Like saturated or animal fats, trans fats contribute to clogged arteries. Clogged arteries are a sign of heart disease; they increase your risk of both heart attack and stroke. Here's how it works: Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or 'bad' cholesterol levels. This contributes to the build up of fatty plaque in arteries."
"Equally worrisome, population studies indicate that trans fats may up the risk of diabetes. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston suggest that replacing trans fats in the diet with polyunsaturated fats (such as vegetable oils, salmon, etc.) can reduce diabetes risk by as much as 40%."
Examples of 'High Trans' Foods
"To avoid trans fats in your food supply read labels - look for the words 'partially hydrogenated oil'. Some examples to 'high trans' foods include
· Skippy Peanut Butter,
· Oreo Sandwich cookies,
· Tostitos 100% White Corn Chips,
· Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat Bread,
· Pasta Roni Shells and White Cheddar."
"Healthy alternatives are
· Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter,
· Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips,
· Wonder Stoneground 100% Whole Wheat Bread,
· Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.
· Cookies from a whole food supermarket."
"heart healthy fatsincluding
· [natural] peanut butter and
· trans fat free margarines such as Promise and Smart Beat.'"
"If you buy fat-free foods trans fat are automatically eliminated because there is no fat at all. Shop natural food supermarkets- Whole food product lines are trans-free."
How Much is Too Much?
"How much trans fat is safe? No one really knows. Kava says that the prestigious Institute of Medicine reported that there isn't enough research yet to recommend a safe amount of trans fats. "We know that like saturated fats, trans fats can raise bad cholesterol but there is conflicting data about what it does to good cholesterol," she says. "I wish the data were stronger."
"Kava adds: 'The most important thing is looking at the number of calories and then serving size. Then check out saturated fat and trans fat on the label. It might help some people make smarter decisions.'"
"But we should still limit our daily fat intake to 30% or less of our daily calories, she stresses."
Trans Fats vs. Saturated Fats
"'Trans fats raise (bad) LDL cholesterol levels slightly less than do saturated fats," says Lichtenstein. "But saturated fats also raise levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or 'good' cholesterol, and trans fatty acids don't.' Thus, some researchers say trans fats are worse. Lichtenstein, however, figures the two fats probably cause equal harm in our diets because we eat far more saturated fat than trans fats."